Since the first COVID-19 cases were reported in late March 2020, Myanmar has since suspended all commercial flights in and out of the country. As a result of the travel restrictions Jon was unable to travel back to Myanmar from Singapore, where he had been leading his team via virtual Zoom and online meetings.
But all that changed on August 23, when he was able to take a relief flight from Malaysia back to his home in Yangon.
Before getting on the plane to Yangon the 53-year old CEO self-quarantined for one week at his residence in Singapore. But all that self-isolation didn’t end in Myanmar, as upon his return he underwent another week of quarantine at a hotel in Yangon. This will be followed by another week of self-isolation at his home.
“I was fortunate that my quarantine was in a hotel, but it is of course draining to be confined to one room with very limited ability to go outside or leave the building,” Jon Omund Revhaug explained to Metro.
Jon like concentrate on daily routines, and breaks his day up into different tasks – reading, working and conducting online meetings.
“I think it is very important to build structure into your days in situations like these. This includes get up early and doing your normal morning routines. For me, that includes a short exercise workout, a shower and breakfast,” he said.
Jon Omund Revhaug dresses in normal office clothes and changes back in the afternoon. During the day he reads his emails, organises meetings, makes necessary calls and try to reads up on important work documents.
In the late afternoon, he tries to run on the treadmill to meet his quota of daily exercise. This is followed by dinner, and catching up with family back home.
“My main point is to create structure and routines that prevent me from ending in a situation with ‘days that just past in quarantine’. I have to try and drive forward all business plans, projects and follow up with results just like I was in the office,” he said.
“I keep myself occupied by reading, and working out.My team in Myanmar also gave me some interesting books about Myanmar, so I have been reading these to learn more about the people and culture of my new home,” Jon explained.
Jon Omund Revhaug’s last day of quarantine is on 6 September, which is 14 days after his arrival in Myanmar. He will have spent a total of 21 days of isolation.
During those three weeks he has been tested several times and, once he receives a negative result from the final test, he’s looking forward to joining the Telenor Myanmar team in the office on Monday September 7.
Without having to commute, Jon has spent more time reading during the quarantine.
“But of course, it is hard to stay inside a small room for many days, but I try to occupy myself with things I enjoy. I am an outdoorsy person, and I love hiking, sailing and being active – so I’m really looking forward to getting out and exploring more of the city and country after the quarantine,” he said.
Starting the day with a routine, no matter how small, helps to create structure from the start. Each routine has a purpose, and by focusing on the positive outcomes of those routines, the day becomes more productive – despite the social isolation. The key is to build habits that create stability, but also maintain a healthy work-life balance, just like in normal (non-quarantined) life.